Buddy died in his sleep this morning.
Buddy's greatest attractors as a rescued-dog were that he was housebroken and calm. Well, there were his eyes, and silken hair, as well. But as a family who had planned so poorly as to (finally) get a dog near the end of the summer, too late to train properly with kids in attendance, the housebroken bit turned out to be a great blessing. It turned out his quiet demeanor was simple depression at having been turned in by his first family, who just weren't able to manage him.
All this became evident when we got him home and he raced around the house seemingly without touching the ground. For hours. Years, really. And a door left ajar... well, he had a nose for that, and legs to run, and run he did, joyfully. No one will ever convince me that dogs are incapable of taunting. As primary dog chaser, he had me often in a state of apoplexy in those early years.
Buddy wasn't a lap dog... he knew better than to trust people too very far. Like every dog, he was an observant opportunist, and the odd cherry pie or blackberry cobbler must have seemed to him his just due for suffering the indignities of leash and kibble. Buddy would have looked right at home in one of those Dutch paintings rich with hunting regalia, game, and overflowing bowls of fruit.
He was a far more competant dog than we were dog owners, and he seemed to know it. An alpha male scent-hound in the charge of bumblers. He deserved better, but I suppose most dogs do, and he could have done worse. His last year in Seattle, he and I shared most every dawn in the quiet of Magnusson Park, and those hours were the happiest in each of our days.
I miss him.